Handbook

(updated, 6/5/2017)

ARMES - Purpose and Goals

The ARMES Program is an Arts program designed to meet the needs of Greenville County’s students (grades 3-8) who have demonstrated outstanding talents and a deep interest in theatre, visual arts, dance, strings orchestral or band instrumental music. Sponsored by the Fine Arts Center (FAC), the purpose of the program is to allow the student to explore their chosen art form in depth while promoting individual creativity.

The ARMES program is funded by South Carolina’s Educational Improvement Act (EIA) and is offered at no cost to the students. Admission to the program is by nomination and auditions, which are held each spring. The ARMES Program serves approximately four hundred students from Greenville County elementary schools and middle schools along with charter, home-schooled and private school students.

ARMES - Objectives

1) To allow young students to develop as artists

2) To create a stimulating learning environment in which students experience both intellectual and

social interaction with other young artists

3) To develop behaviors and skills useful in self-directed learning

4) To heighten enthusiasm for learning

5) To increase knowledge and usage of creative problem-solving skills and critical thinking skills

6) To foster appreciation for personal abilities

7) To encourage the development of aesthetic values

8) To provide students with a better understanding of the relationship between art and the society

in which we live

CONTACT INFORMATION

Please contact the ARMES coordinator or your child’s teacher first with questions or concerns.

The Fine Arts Center Offices

Telephone: (864) 355-2550

Fax: (864) 355-2579

Mailing address for ARMES:

ARMES Program c/o The Fine Arts Center

102 Pine Knoll Drive

Greenville, SC 29609

ARMES PARTICIPATION AND RULES

The ARMES program of The Fine Arts Center is a tuition free program for which any rising 3rd-8thgrade Greenville County student may participate in the annual audition process. All students must have a qualified recommendation. This special Gifted and Talented program exists for the student’s benefit and strives to achieve the highest in artistic standards.

Students selected for the ARMES program have the opportunity to participate in an intensified instructional arts program. Because students receive a limited number of instructional hours, it is very important that they arrive on time and do not miss classes. Students who miss substantial instruction may compromise the pace of instruction in the classroom.

Please remember that the ARMES program and your students are the guests of The Fine Arts Center. The artwork that is on display in the Fine Arts Center Gallery and hallways is valuable and should be treated with respect and care. Please do not touch. NO HORSEPLAY will be allowed inside or outside of the Fine Arts Center.

Parents and students need to follow directions of any ARMES or FAC staff member, including custodians, while in the building or outside on our campus.

ATTENDANCE

Three unexcused absences are allowed. A note to the teacher should follow each absence. If a student needs more than the three approved absences, the parent must contact the instructor. Parents will be contacted by phone or letter after two unexcused absences have occurred. Students will be dismissed from the program after three unexcused absences so the pace of instruction will not be compromised. If the attendance problem cannot be resolved, a letter of dismissal will be sent.

Excused absences include:

• Death in the family

• Doctor’s visits (with a doctor’s note)

• School related absence tied to an academic or arts class (class field trip or Beta Club activity)

• Inclement weather

• Religious Holidays

Non-Excused absences include:

• School dances or other optional school activities

• Illness (three allowed with parent note, then a Doctor’s note is necessary)

• Transportation problems

• Youth Group, Mission Trips or other Church Activites

• Vacations

ARMES classes are taught at a pace and level of complexity appropriate for artistically gifted children. Students often find the ARMES class work stimulating and look forward to doing it. However, ARMES students must first maintain their regular class work. Participation in the ARMES program does not excuse students from their regular school assignments.

SCHOOL SPORTS

While we understand and appreciate the importance of sports activities for all children, we ask that parents and students consider the commitment in time and energy involved in the ARMES program and in sports. We ask that you do not schedule practices or games on the same day as ARMES as these will not be considered excused absences.

ACTIVITIES AND CALENDAR

ARMES classes typically begin shortly after Greenville County Schools begin in the Fall. Please refer to the calendar posted on our website www.armesprogram.com for your specific program. As always, we will follow the public school calendar for vacation days, teacher workdays and holidays. If school is dismissed for a holiday at the end of the school day, there will be no ARMES classes on that day. If school is dismissed early or cancelled for the day because of inclement weather, there are no ARMES classes on that day.

Because ARMES is an afterschool program at The Fine Arts Center, priority is given to The Fine Arts Center school activities. Classes may occasionally have to be cancelled because of a conflict with the high school schedule. An email will be sent home if a class is to be cancelled. Please check your email regularly so that you will not make an unnecessary trip to the Fine Arts Center.

BEHAVIOR AND EVALUATIONS

Student work is monitored at each class meeting. If the teacher perceives that a student’s level of engagement is not meeting standards of the program, the following procedure will be in effect:

1. The teacher will talk with the student about a change in work or behavior.

2. The teacher will observe whether the work/behavior is changing.

3. The teacher will send a note to the parents, alerting them of a possible problem or requesting a conference.

4. A conference will be held with the teacher, parent and Coordinator of the ARMES program.

5. Unsatisfactory behavior or improvement will result in dismissing the student from ARMES.

The ARMES program will issue evaluations during the year. It is hoped that all students will strive to make superior progress in their discipline. Students are allowed two weeks after evaluations are issued to return the report signed by a parent or guardian.

Spaces in the ARMES classes are limited and acceptance for the following year in the ARMES program is not guaranteed. All students must re-audition each year.

GREENVILLE COUNTY STUDENT BEHAVIOR CODE

Parents and students are also responsible for reading and following the Greenville County Behavior Code. Go to www.greenville.k12.sc.us under the Parents tab. Click on Policy tab then click on the Student Behavior Code located at the right side of the page in the light gray text block. Copies are also available at The Fine Arts Center or at any Greenville County School.

PARENT RESPONSIBILITY

It is the responsibility of the parent to deliver the student to The Fine Arts Center and pick up the student on time. If you arrive before 15 minutes start time of class, please remain in the parking lot with your child until the time for drop off. For your child’s safety, students may NOT be dropped off more than 15 minutes before the class begins. Elementary students are allowed to enter the building at 3:00PM, and middle school students may enter at 4:30PM. Students must report directly to their designated area and wait with the ARMES instructor on duty.

For pick up time, a consistent pattern (more than 3 times) of parental tardiness will require a meeting with the teacher, parent, and Coordinator of the ARMES program. Tardiness exceeding fifteen (15) minutes in picking up the student from the ARMES program will result in a conference.

If your student attends ARMES at the Fine Arts Center, at dismissal all students must wait with the instructor on duty on the concrete area near the front entrance of the school. If you are late in picking up your child, he/she will first attempt to call you then the student will go back to their classroom with the instructor. Students need to stay with the instructor during dismissal procedure. It is very important that students stay close to the instructor on duty during dismissal.

After 15 minutes, students not picked up by their parents must go back inside with the instructor and the student will then be directed where to wait. Elementary students that are late being picked up will wait with their instructor in the classroom. Middle school students will wait in the classroom with the instructor on duty. Parents will have to come inside to pick up your child. Please refer to the faculty and staff section to confirm your classroom’s location.

VISITORS & EARLY DISMISSAL

If your student attends ARMES at the Fine Arts Center, all parents or guardians must first report to the front office. No student will be allowed to leave the classroom without a designated adult. If the office is closed, please go to your child’s classroom to get your child or contact the administrator on duty. If you know you will be picking up early, please send a note so the instructor. You will need to come to the classroom and see the instructor to get your child.

FOOD & DRINK POLICY

NO FOOD, GUM, CANDY OR DRINK OTHER THAN BOTTLED WATER IS ALLOWED IN THE FINE ARTS CENTER.

We suggest you provide a snack, if needed, for your student to eat before your student arrives and prior to the beginning of the ARMES classes. Snacks and drinks will not be permitted in the building.

STUDENT DIRECTORY INFORMATION

Contact your child’s teacher in writing to obtain an opt-out form for directory information if you do not want your child to be photographed in class or his/her name included on performance programs.

Please contact your child’s teacher if you would like more information.

TRANSPORTATION & CARPOOL

(See Parent responsibility for drop off & pick up times)

No buses are available for the ARMES program. It is the parent’s responsibility to provide transportation to and from the ARMES program. In the interest of safety, please make sure anyone picking up your child understands the traffic flow and rules. In addition, please advise instructors in writing of any special circumstances or anyone who is not permitted to pick up your child from ARMES.

We understand it is often a hardship to transport students to ARMES in the afternoon. We provide carpool information for those who request it. To be on the carpool list, you must complete the required form by the date provided each year. To see a listing of the students interested in carpooling this year, go to www.armesprogram.com. The carpool list will not be updated once it has been posted online.

DROP OFF & PICK UP PROCEDURES FOR THE FINE ARTS CENTER

Inner Loop (Drop-off)

If you enter the inner loop, we ask that you park your car and walk across to the crosswalk so you may escort your student back across the lane of traffic. No child will be allowed to cross the lane of travel unescorted, so please do not sit in your car and motion for your child to cross. We have signs that we will use on especially heavy traffic days marking off the area in front of our building as “loading zone” only. Do not block exiting traffic from Wade Hampton High School or the Fine Arts Center, or prevent others from passing.

Outer Loop (Pick-up)

If you drive the outer loop and wait in your car, please stay to the RIGHT as you come around the circle and wait in line until you reach the front of the building. No student will be allowed to enter a car in the left hand lane. If you reach the front door of the building and your student is not waiting for you, please pull ahead and wait farther down the lane freeing the area immediately in front of the building for those whose students are ready. If you are early, you may be asked to make a second loopto free up the traffic pattern.

Throughout the year there are many events, sponsored by Wade Hampton High School and/or Fine Arts Center that cause ARMES dismissal to be difficult, please be patient during those difficult days.

During special events at both high schools, many parents and guests park their cars in the drive-thru loop causing ARMES parents difficulty getting to the front of the school. In those cases, it may be easier to park your car and walk over to ARMES dismissal area to get your child rather than wait in line.

Finally, the custodial staff and ARMES faculty are there to assist in the safe arrival and departure of students. Their objective is to facilitate student’s safety, so please give them your cooperation and your respect for the difficult job they are doing.


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